22 April 2021
PDF version [356KB]
Church (updated by David Watt)
Foreign Affairs Defence and
The purpose of this quick guide is to
provide parliamentarians and their staff with helpful resources for researching
various aspects of Australian military history. The 2021 iteration of this document
has some minor updates and links have been checked.
Online military history resources
Australian War Memorial (AWM)
The AWM website provides an extensive amount of
military history resources, including:
Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA)
DVA offers a variety of resources, ranging from lists of
anniversaries and commemorative events, nominal rolls for the Second World
War, Korea and Vietnam. A preliminary Gulf
War nominal roll is now available. The DVA website also hosts information about
War Graves and the Office
of Australian War Graves.
website also contains a research tips guide and a large number of media
backgrounder fact sheets on various
aspects of Australia’s military history, including involvement in wars and
conflicts, commemorations and related themes.
DVA has also published the following reference websites Gallipoli
and the Anzacs, Australians
on the Western Front 1914–1918, Australia’s
War 1939–1945, Australia’s
involvement in the Korean War and
and the Vietnam War.
The National Archives of Australia (NAA)
The NAA website
contains an array of primary source military
history documents and thematic fact sheets. These include service records,
administrative records, internment records and national service records. The
to researching war service provides useful information, as well as a link
to the RecordSearch database. The 376,000 First
World War service records have been digitised
in their entirety, following the three-year ‘Gift to the Nation’
digitisation project. Digitisation of other records remains ongoing.
On 3 October 2019 the NAA
announced that the Australian Government had provided funding to enable the
digitisation of service records from the Second World War. The announcement
stated that the work would take place across four years but also noted that
some 200,000 records are already available. Archives are currently working on
digitising the Army Citizens Military Forces records
The NAA has also created the Discovering Anzacs website,
featuring profiles of Australian military personnel, an image gallery and a
mapping tool highlighting the places of birth and enlistment of those who
served in the Boer War and First World War.
The AIF Project
This is a database
coordinated by academic historian Peter Dennis and hosted by UNSW at ADSFA which
allows the searching of Australian First World War personnel by name, service
number or location of birth/place of residence upon enlistment.
National Library of Australia’s Trove
As a result of the National Library’s newspaper digitisation
program it is possible to search more than 1,000 different newspapers
across all states and territories have been digitised, spanning the early 1800s
to the mid-20th century. These newspapers are keyword-searchable and provide
substantial media coverage of the war front and the home front during the First
and Second World Wars.
The Australian Dictionary
This website contains searchable
biographic articles of notable personalities, including those involved in
the military. It is an initiative of the National Centre of Biography at the
Australian National University.
of Australia ParlInfo database enables keyword searching across
House of Representatives and Senate Hansard, committee reports and proceedings
and Bills debated within the Parliament. This database is useful for
identifying the parliamentary proceedings during times of conflict.
Parliamentary Library resources
years of the Royal Australian Air Force (April 2021)
extraordinary story of Ordinary Seaman Edward ‘Teddy’ Sheean VC (April
Day traditions and rituals (updated April 2021)
a quick guide to frequently asked questions and general information (updated
attitudes to conscription: 1914–1918 (27 October 2016)
of Parliament who have served
in war: the Second World
War (9 September 2016)
Day 2016 (15 April 2016)
life goes on the same: the Great War at home’, lecture delivered by
Professor Peter Stanley (11 November 2015)
Members of Parliament who have served in war: colonial wars and the First World
War (19 September 2014)
‘A small navy in a Great War’, lecture delivered by David
Stevens (audio, video and published
extract) (27 August 2014)
of Victoria Cross recipients by electorate
(updated November 2016)
the last man’—Australia’s entry to war in 1914 (31 July 2014)
to war 1914–18: the view from the Australian Parliament’, lecture delivered
by Professor Joan Beaumont (19 March 2014)
Honours and awards
of Defence website contains information regarding the different types of
Australian and Imperial military awards. The Department of the Prime Minister
and Cabinet’s It’s an
Honour website provides further
details on Australian honours, including the ability to search by an individual
or a specific award or medal.
Australia’s defence force
Army History Unit website contains primary source materials regarding the
Australian Army forces’ contribution to conflicts spanning pre-Federation to
Vietnam, support to peacekeeping operations and information regarding unit
histories and formations.
The Royal Australian
Air Force website contains overview information of the RAAF’s contribution
to Australian military operations. The history of the RAAF is also described, including a list of famous RAAF personnel. The RAAF website also
gives information regarding the traditions of the red poppy, the last post, the dawn service
and Remembrance Day.
Australian Navy website contains reference material regarding the histories
of various ships, submarines and naval bases, customs, traditions and navy personnel.
Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander military service
The Australian War Memorial website contains an overview of the history of the Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander military service.
of Veterans Affairs also has information for and about Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander Peoples.
Historian Philippa Scarlett has published Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander volunteers for the AIF: the Indigenous response to
World War One (4th edn, Macquarie, ACT, Indigenous Histories, 2018) and provides updates to the book on the
Histories. The book and the website are part of an ongoing
effort to identify Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who served and,
where possible, to provide information about those people.
In May 2014, the Indigenous Liaison Officer for the AWM,
Gary Oakley, delivered the lecture ‘Aboriginals in the First Australian
Imperial Force, a Secret History’, as part of the Parliamentary Library’s
series Parliament, War and Empire. This lecture can be downloaded as an MP3
file, with an
accompanying PowerPoint presentation and slide notes.
The Institute of
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies website has a section Serving their
country which provides access to information about the history of
The Year Book Australia 1925, published on the Australian
Bureau of Statistics website, contains an overview
of the soldier settlement schemes across Australia.
Records of Victoria website, Battle to Farm, holds the digitised
records for soldier settlers in Victoria from 1919 to 1935.
A Land Fit for Heroes? is a history of soldier
settlement in New South Wales from 1916 to 1939, developed by the
Australian Research Council, Monash University, the University of New England,
DVA and State Records NSW.
The Queensland State Archives has published a Research
guide to soldier settlement records at Queensland State Archives.
Australian State Archives holds records relating to soldier settlement in
Information about soldier settlement in Tasmania can be
accessed through the Libraries
For copyright reasons some linked items are only available to members of Parliament.
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